The success of the R-MAX unmanned helicopter system from Yamaha Motor Company in the civilian marketplace (mainly farm/agricultural spraying) has led to the company to join forces in 2014 with American defense powerhouse Northrop Grumman to develop a more versatile special-market form to cover a wider band of industries including military and security. The result is the "R-BAT" (Rotary-BAT) system designed around the concept of rapid response for the purposes of reconnaissance, scouting, and Search and Rescue (SAR) sorties. The versatility of the air system allows it to take-off and land virtually anywhere and operate in areas generally found to be inhospitable to ground forces such as troops and firefighters. Beyond its obvious military value, the helicopter can also be called upon to fulfill border patrol / border control requirements and serve in humanitarian / disaster relief operations.
R-BAT retains much of the form and function of the earlier R-MAX which was developed during the 1990s. The streamlined fuselage is used to house the powerplant, fuel stores, and avionics fit. A camera/sensor-laden blister pack is set in the fuselage's chin position offering 360-degree traversal and real-time relay of information. Over the top of the fuselage is a two-bladed main rotor unit and a two-bladed tail rotor unit is offset to the starboard side at the aircraft's aft end. A tail stem houses the drive system for this rear unit. The undercarriage is a four-point, twin-skid component allowing for operation from just about any surface.
Unlike the R-MAX, which is remotely-operated through Line-of-Sight (LoS), the R-BAT is completed with an autonomous control scheme. Flight testing was had out of the Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona.
Performance specs of the air system include a mission endurance window of over four hours, a maximum ceiling up to 6,000 feet, and a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 95lb. Payload capacity is limited to 43 lb.
As far as is known, the R-BAT continues to be actively marketed by the company.
Production 1 Units
Northrop Grumman - USA / Yamaha Motor Company - Japan
The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.
Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world and WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.